Understaffed, underserved: Problems of health system

On August 15, 2016, in his Independence Day address, Prime Minister Narendra Modi promised a safety net of up to Rs 100,000 for families who lived below the official poverty line. This programme, however, may do little for people who lack access to qualified medical personnel. Up to 62 per cent of government hospitals don’t have a gynaecologist on staff and an estimated 22 per cent of sub-centres are short of auxiliary nurse midwives (ANMs) — together, gynaecologists and ANMs are the frontline of the battle against infant and maternal mortality.

From 256 women who died per 100,000 live births, according to National Rural Health Mission (NHRM) surveys in 2004-06, India’s maternal mortality rate (MMR) improved 30 per cent to 178 deaths per 100,000 live births by 2011-12, but this is worse than countries in the neighbourhood, such as Sri Lanka (30), Bhutan (148) and Cambodia (161), and worst among the BRICS countries: Russia (25), China (27), Brazil (44), and South Africa (138), according to the World Bank’s latest estimates.

Leave a Reply



Related Articles